It’s been quite the wild week for the royal family! First, Queen Elizabeth shocked the world by sitting front row beside Anna Wintour at London Fashion Week. Then, Prince William proved he’s the coolest dad by riding motorcycles during a royal event. And now, Kate Middleton is having her turn — she just got a totally unexpected tattoo on her hand at her latest official outing.
Ok, don’t totally freak out yet, royal fans. The 36-year-old pregnant Duchess‘ new ink is actually just henna, a temporary tattoo (it’ll last about two days) created with a chemical-free brown ink from the powdered leaves of the tropical henna plant. According to People, 18-year-old Shajida Begum asked Kate if she’d like to get the henna design while she and Prince William were visiting The Fire Station in Sunderland, England on Wednesday, Feb. 21.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
“I said, ‘Would you like a design?’ and she was like, ‘Yes if you don’t mind,'” Begum told reporters. “She was saying that it was really pretty. I was just telling her how it works. I was telling her when she can wash it off — I said, ‘When it becomes flaky.'” Young Asian Voices Youth Project Manager Kumareswaradas Ramanathas added, “After two days it will start disappearing slowly and after two weeks it will be gone completely. It just leaves an orange stain on the skin.”
It’s no secret that members of the British monarchy have tons of interesting (and somewhat strict!) royal protocol rules, which begs the question — are people in Queen Elizabeth’s family allowed to get real tattoos? It’s actually not totally clear because none of the modern royals seem to have any ink. However, the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall did sport a pierced tongue during her teenage years, so we can assume the monarch is tolerant of some rebellious body art.
Though Kate appears to be the first royal to get a tattoo (it’s fake, but whatever!), we do know that Queen Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Philip, actually adores body ink. In 2016, a royal source revealed that Philip was interested in soldiers’ tattoos while visiting the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards at Lille Barracks in Aldershot, England. “He was asking them where they had got them done and what the story was behind them. A corporal was telling him that his was in tribute to a family member who had passed away,” the insider said.
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